Seeking a deeper knowledge, Buddha journeyed toward the ancient sacred forests of Uruvela (modern Gaya in Bihar, in north India) with the intention of finally and completely realizing the infinite. Guided by visionary dreams and following in the footsteps of Krakucchanda, Kanakamuni, and Kasyapa, the Buddhas of three previous ages, Siddhartha sat beneath the Bodhi Tree. Touching the earth, thereby calling it to witness the countless lifetimes of virtue that had led him to this place of enlightenment, he entered into a state of deep meditation. Three days and nights passed and his intention was realized. Siddhartha became the Buddha, meaning the "Enlightened One."

The Buddha spent the next seven weeks in meditation near the Bodhi Tree. Then, at the request of the god Indra, he began to speak of the great truth he had realized, and gave his first sermon at Isipatana (modern Sarnath near Banaras).

Set in sylvan solitude on the banks of river Niranjana (now called Falgu) is Bodhgaya, one of the most sacred place for Buddhist as well as for Hindus.  The tree that stands today is believed to have grown from original peepal tree under which lord Buddha meditated. River Niranjana in which Buddha bathed after attaining enlightenment flows quietly outside the tiny hamlet.